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Volume 6 No. 211


League Championship Bristol City has "unveiled an ambitious scheme" to redevelop its home ground at Ashton Gate, according to Andy Stockhausen of THE POST. Bristol City's plan is to "completely rebuild the Wedlock and Williams Stands and renovate the Atyeo and Dolman Stands" to increase capacity from 19,000 to 26,000 by the start of the '16-17 season. The project will take three years, cost £40M ($63M) and "will be entirely underwritten" by Bristol City majority shareholder Steve Lansdown. Bristol City is "expected to make an application for planning permission" to Bristol City Council as early as June and work could start by the spring of '14. Meanwhile, the club will "continue to explore the possibility" of constructing a new 30,000 all-seat stadium at nearby Ashton Vale pending a second inquiry, scheduled for October (THE POST, 2/5). In Bristol, Christopher Brown reported Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has "given an initial support" to Bristol City’s redevelopment plans at Ashton Gate if "plans to build a new stadium at Ashton Vale finally fail." The club hopes a new railway station will be built on land near the Ford car dealership so "fans would have a rail link with Temple Meads and walk to the revamped ground." Responding on Twitter, Ferguson said, "This is great news for #BristolCity & Ashton community. Plans have my strong #BristolMayor backing. Let’s all get behind it" (BRISTOL 24-7, 2/5).

SHARED GROUND: The BBC reported Bristol Rugby Club Chair Chris Booy said that it would be "sharing a ground with the football club, whichever stadium gets built." Booy said, "It makes tremendous economic sense and allows us to invest more money in the football and rugby clubs." Bristol City previously said that the Ashton Gate site is "too small to fit its plans." However, Managing Dir Jon Lansdown said that "demolishing the Hirerite site next to Ashton Gate and getting rid of the temporary huts alongside the Williams stand would free up more space" (BBC, 2/5).

Minas Arena, the operator of the Mineirão stadium, was fined R$1M ($500,000) by the Mineiro state government for a series of faults that took place in the inauguration of the stadium over the weekend, according to PORTAL 2014. State official Tiago Lacerda said that the government found "acceptable and unacceptable" faults in the operation of the stadium located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Minas Arena had guaranteed that the arena "would be in condition to receive the rivalry game between Cruzeiro and Atlético-MG" over the weekend but this was not the case according to Lacerda. Some of the "unacceptable" problems were the lack of running water and toilet paper in the bathrooms, and the fact that concession stands were closed. Minas Arena President Ricardo Barra "apologized to fans" on Monday (PORTAL 2014, 2/4). LANCE NET's João Carlos Assumpção reported FIFA "did not take the news well" and has asked the World Cup Local Organizing Committee for "explanations" (LANCE NET, 2/5).

Russian club Spartak Moscow’s new 44,000-seat stadium, a World Cup 2018 venue, "will open later than scheduled." The project leader said Monday that the stadium will open May '14. Construction had been set to finish this year (R-SPORT, 2/4). ... Destination Resorts and Hotels owner and developer of resort destinations Kazanah Nasional Berhard has unveiled plans at two locations in Malaysia for Asia’s first ever clubs designed by Ernie Els. The developments include the 18-hole championship course at Teluk Datai located on the island of Langkawi. The second of the developments is a 27-hole design at the Desaru Coast, located on the South China Sea. Teluk Detai is set for official opening in October, with Desaru following soon after in '14. Both golf courses have been created by Ernie Els Design (GOLF BUSINESS COMMUNITY, 2/4).